Fantastic Fall Scents to Make Your Home Smell Good (That Aren’t Candles!)

updated May 4, 2019
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Candles can get expensive, and there can be a somewhat disturbing synthetic aroma that lingers in the air long after the it’s been blown out. If you’re ready to cut ties with your favorite candle (or just take a break and mix it up a bit), check out these six ways to use natural fall scents to get your home smelling wonderful.

Baked Apple

The best way to get your home smelling wonderful? Bake something with apples—specifically, this Brown Butter Apple Loaf. The benefits are twofold: the cake makes your home smells cozy, and you actually get to eat it afterwards! Let’s see a candle do that.

Aromatic Herbs

Thanks to cooking and baking, your kitchen might already smell sweetly of herbs such as rosemary and peppermint. To bring those scents to other areas of your home, rub the leaves of the herbs on cool lightbulbs. Once turned on and warmed up, the bulbs will give off a pleasant fall aroma.


Brew a nice big pot of this on a cool, crisp morning, and let it simmer on low throughout the day. Ladle some into your mug with a bit of whipped cream for your afternoon pick-me-up, and if there’s still some chai simmering in the evening hours, might we suggest you ice it and spike it?

Don’t want to hassle with The Kitchn’s from-scratch recipe? Just toss a bunch of teabags in a pot on the stove! Chai teabags work, of course, as do any featuring clove, orange, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and/or plum.

Cinnamon-Scented Pinecones

It never fails—around the middle of September every year, markets and craft stores start to carry cinnamon-scented pinecones and brooms. They’re the perfect decorative and delicious-smelling gateway to the coming fall and winter months. This year, instead of buying them, make your own! Collect a few handfuls of pinecones on a hike, and scent them in just a few easy steps with our DIY tutorial.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Simmer Pot Starters

Not only are these make-ahead jars genius, they make gorgeous little gifts as well. Combine your favorite scents in a jar, top off with water, attach the lid, and keep refrigerated until use. When you’re ready, pour the contents into a small saucepan on the stovetop and let simmer on low until your home smells fantastic, adding water to the pot as needed. The full tutorial is on The Yummy Life.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Room Diffuser

Pay big bucks for your favorite scent, or use our tutorial to make your own. We love this Essential Oil Blends For Fall guide from hello natural for getting started with various diffuser combos.